The Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi and is closer to Vishwanath temple. It was renovated twice in 1740 and 1774 by Bajirao Peshwa I and Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. The legend says that it was built by Lord Brahma in order to commemorate the return of Lord Shiva to the earth. It is also associated with another story according to which Lord Brahma performed a yagya here for which he sacrificed ten horses. The ten horses for sacrifice were provided by a ruler of the Bhara Shiva Naga clan. Perhaps, that is the reason why it has been named as Dashashwamedh Ghat. For if the etymology of the name is looked at, Dash means ten, ashwa means horse, and medh means sacrifice. Hence, the name appears very logical considering this legend.
The sight in the evening at Dashashwamedh Ghat is spectacular when a group of priests clad in saffron-colored clothes, perform ‘Agni Pooja’ to honour Lord Shiva, Sun, Fire, River Ganga, and the entire universe. This ghat is more popular and famous with the devotees as the ‘Ganga Aarti’ is performed here. The aarti starts at around six in the evening. Hundreds of people gather here to witness the ocean of devotion and get drenched in it. Participating in the prayer for Ganga is like achieving religious merit in Hinduism. It also helps in building a connection with mother Ganga.
Spending a few moments at this ghat fills the heart and mind with spiritual thoughts. Many are also seen meditating here in the morning. The cool atmosphere, fresh air and the wonderful atmosphere engulfing the Dashashwamedh Ghat throughout the day offer an invigorating experience. This place is also crowded by tourist and locals to enjoy the endearing sight of sunrise and sunset. Even the foreign tourists don’t want to miss the sight and make their presence here for the aarti, and to feel the beauty of the sunrise and sunset closely.